This article was published online on 4/10/2020, by researchers at the Beijing Emergency Medical Center, in Beijing, China. It details the epidemiological and clinical characteristics older patients, diagnosed with COVID-19, who were transferred by Beijing Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to hospitals.
- With increased age comes a higher prevalence of multimorbidity and lower resistance to infections, especially COVID-19.
- This study compares clinical signs of COVID-19 infection present, comparing different age groups.
- A retrospective study of medical records for patients who were transferred to specialized COVID-19 hospitals by the Beijing EMS, from 1/20/2020 – 2/29/2020.
- Patients were split up into 3 groups: 50-64 years (n=81), 65-79 years (n=44), and ≥80 9n=16), and further divided by disease severity.
- Older patients (65+ years) had significantly higher respiratory rates, and were more likely to have dyspnea than middle aged patients
- Older patients were significantly more likely to have severe COVID-19, 53% of cases were classified as severe, and of these severe cases, 81% of them were from the ≥80 age group.
- Mean time from contact symptomatic case to illness onset was 7.4 days, from illness onset to hospital was 3.6 days, and from hospital to a defined confirmed case was 2.6 days.
- By the end of the study, 53% of older patients were still hospitalized, 38% were discharged, and 8% patients died. The fatality of the ≥80 group was 19%, which was significantly higher than those in the other two groups.
- The most common comorbidities these patients had were hypertension, CAD, COPD, diabetes, and cerebrovascular disease. Patients in the severe group were predominantly older patients, and these patients, due to underlying disease and weakened immune systems, were more likely to die.
This review was posted on behalf of Spencer Hofschulte-Beck, medical student at Marian University, and approved by Dr. Kathleen Unroe, IU School of Medicine Associate Professor, geriatrician, and IU Center for Aging Research Scientist.